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Sherrill's latest appearance won't affect Bulldogs


Danny P Smith



STARKVILLE -- The presence of former Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill at last Saturday''s closed scrimmage didn''t violate any of the parameters set forth in the self-imposed penalties for an incident that occurred during spring practice. 


Sherrill was at the scrimmage as a contributing writer for, an ESPN affiliated Web site that covers MSU sports. 


MSU Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Bracky Brett said Wednesday afternoon nothing Sherrill did at the scrimmage caused any concern. 


"He did not go down on the field," Brett said. "He was in the stands with other people at the scrimmage and he had no interaction with the players." 


In the spring, Sherrill was invited to a spring practice session by coach Dan Mullen and began interacting with players on the field. That violated an NCAA by-law regarding the number of coaches that could be on the field. 


The school immediately self-reported the violation to the Southeastern Conference in a letter April 21, and one of the restrictions set forth would be that "Jackie Sherrill would not be invited to any future Mississippi State practices." 


Brett said Sherrill wasn''t invited to attend the scrimmage and that appears to be the key point that will prevent any problems for the Bulldogs this time. 


n Brignone injures ankle: MSU junior center J.C. Brignone sprained his ankle Wednesday and was unable to finish practice. 


Brignone was carted off the field and his foot was placed in a protective boot. 


Mullen expected Brignone to be out at least until Friday, but maybe longer. 


Brignone, who was on the spring Rimington Watch List, started all 12 games for the Bulldogs last season and had an 80 percent blocking grade or better eight-straight times. He was chosen the Southeastern Conference Lineman of the Week after the Middle Tennessee game last season. 


The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in Division I-A college football.  


In Brignone''s absence, junior D.J. Looney will be the first-unit center. 


n Good day for Bulldogs: Mullen termed his team''s Wednesday afternoon practice "a good work day." 


The Bulldogs worked for a little more than two hours at the Shira Complex practice fields in what will be their last afternoon practice until game week. 


"We had a good day today," Mullen said. "The effort and intensity were high, and we saw a little bit better execution. We''ll go under the lights the next two nights so we''ll see if we can keep it up." 


Mullen will put his team to work at 8 p.m. each of the next two nights before the team has its Fan Day on Saturday afternoon. It will begin game week preparations Sunday for the season opener against Jackson State. 


n Ticket sales: Also Wednesday, the athletic department announced that nearly 10,000 student season tickets have been purchased. Department officials have said that 11,000 is the maximum number of student tickets available.  


Tickets can be purchased at the Bryan Athletic Administration Building ticket office and in the Colvard Student Union. 


n Riek cleared by NCAA: Brett and other MSU officials confirmed the NCAA has reinstated freshman basketball player John Riek. 


Riek can participate in offseason individual workouts and conditioning. He can also practice with the team beginning Oct. 16, but must sit out an NCAA-mandated nine games. 


"I''m glad we can put all of this behind us," MSU men''s basketball coach Rick Stansbury said in a statement released by the school. "Now we know what his situation is and we can move forward." 


The 7-foot-1, 250-pound post player had knee surgery a little more than one year ago and came to the Bulldogs after a rehabilitation stint at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.



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